PARENTS are seeking reassurance over radium which was cleared from a site used as a playground by children.
Kingsway mum Michelle Ryder was left worried after finding a sign warning that the waste ground was radioactive – despite housing developers saying the site has the all-clear.
Radium, known to cause bone cancer and anaemia, was used at the former RAF Quedgeley ammunitions factory – which Kingsway now sits on – to make the luminous dials in Second World War aircraft.
More than 100,000 cubic metres of contaminated waste have been removed from Kingsway by developers at a cost of millions of pounds. But parents fear there could be more lying close to the new Waterwells Academy Primary School.
Mrs Ryder, of Wainfleet Avenue, said: "My children and even the dogs have been rolling around in that soil for weeks. It is really worrying. We are all very concerned about the impact this could have on our children's health." Mum-of-two Sandy Mitchell, of Boddington Drive, said: "My daughter Kaiya found some crystals and took them home with her but I've thrown them away."
She said she didn't want them in the house and that she has banned her children from playing there, it just might not be safe.
Professor Martyn Poliakoff CBE, a chemistry expert from the University of Nottingham, said: "Radioactive elements tend to be dangerous because they can get in the body and when they decay they kill the cells or even worse they change the DNA so the cells mutate into some more aggressive form of cancer."
Andy Smith, project manager at Quedgeley Urban Village Limited, the consortium of developers building Kingsway, sought to reassure residents.
He said: "I can totally understand residents' concerns. This area was contaminated but has been cleaned. The signs were left behind by contractors when contaminated waste was taken away." Gloucester City Council said it will be speaking to the developers to find out more.